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ECC Among Top 150 Community Colleges Eligible for 2025 Aspen Prize

The Aspen Institute has named Edgecombe Community College as one of the top 150 institutions eligible to compete for the 2025 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.

Awarded every two years, the $1 million Aspen Prize is the nation’s signature recognition for America’s community colleges. This marks the second time ECC has been eligible to compete for the Aspen Prize, the first time was in 2023.

The Aspen Prize honors colleges with outstanding achievement in six critical areas: teaching and learning, certificate and degree completion, transfer and bachelor’s attainment, workforce success, access, and equity for students of color and students from low-income backgrounds.

The institutions selected for this honor stand out among more than 1,000 community colleges nationwide as having high and improving levels of student success as well as equitable outcomes for Black and Hispanic students and those from lower-income backgrounds.

“To be named among the 150 community colleges that are eligible to apply for the prestigious Aspen Prize is an award in and of itself,” notes ECC President Dr. Greg McLeod. “We are honored by this recognition of our efforts to develop and strengthen strategies to increase student success.”

“The Aspen Prize is rooted first and foremost in an assessment of whether colleges are walking the walk,” says Josh Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. “As community colleges face enrollment variations, enroll students with pandemic-related learning loss, and graduate students into a rapidly changing labor market, it is easy to lose track of what matters most.

“The best community colleges are continuing to focus on advancing the core mission: making sure as many students as possible graduate with credentials that lead to fulfilling careers and reflect the development of diverse talent that communities, states, and our nation need.”

ECC is one of ten community colleges in North Carolina and the only one in northeastern North Carolina named to the 2025 Aspen Top 150.

For a full list of the top 150 eligible institutions and to read more on the selection process, visit